'Pretty much the best audience' - Grayson Perry swoons over Norwich crowd

Artist Grayson Perry at an exhibition of his work at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Artist Grayson Perry at an exhibition of his work at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

An exhibition showcasing a vast collection of works of Grayson Perry received a boost when the renowned artist himself turned up to give it his seal of approval.

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years had been due to land at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich months ago, but like so many other things was postponed as a result of coronavirus restrictions

It finally opened last month and is due to be on display until January 30, 2022, showcasing works from the formative years of his career, between 1982 and 1994.

And over the weekend, Mr Perry went on a trip down memory lane of his own, visiting the SCVA to inspect the exhibition himself.

Artist Grayson Perry examines one of his works on display at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Artist Grayson Perry examines one of his works on display at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

The bushy-haired star of the art world confessed that he had lost track of some of the works on display in the exhibition.


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He said: "Some of the pieces I hadn't seen for a long time and did not even know where they were. 

"It just tickles me because they say so much about me at the time."

Grayson Perry at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Grayson Perry at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

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And it wasn't just his own work that dazzled the Art Club host as he visited the city, being taken aback by Norwich's beauty too.

He said: "When I was here for my show I had a nice walk around the city and I was quite surprised by now nicely preserved Norwich is.

"I'd never been to the Sainsbury centre before this and it is amazing - what a fantastic gallery. It is obviously very well known but it should be more so." 

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is on show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is on show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich. Picture shows Vanessa Tothill, assistant curator for the SCVA and curator of the show. - Credit: KATE WOLSTENHOLME

Mr Perry had recently visited the fine city as part of a theatre tour and was full of praise for the Norwich audience as well.

He added: "They were a very good audience - pretty much the best audience on my tour.

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is on show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is on show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

"I mean that truly, they were really good. I'm not sure if they were just more drunk but they were really fun."

The exhibition includes a variety of pieces from the early years of Mr Perry's career, consisting largely of clay works, pottery and other ceramic artworks. 

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is on at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts until January 30,  2022. Tickets £12/£11 concessions, book online at sainsburycentre.ac.uk.

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